travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz


New Places to Visit in Aklan + Traveling on My Birthday

April 5, 2022

Aklan, which is popular for its beach destination, Boracay was the final stop of our #PTIPPanayIsland Travel with Tourism Promotions Board.

You can also watch my vlog about this trip which started in Iloilo.

Aklan is considered the oldest province in the country, also known for its colorful feast called Ati-Atihan. Ati-atihan is a festivity that celebrates the co-existence of Ati (local name of Aeta) and Malays who were newcomers to the island. I remember reading about Ati-Atihan when I was younger and felt scared of the costumes and masks. Now, I the welcome necklaces from Aklan are my favorites from this trip.

We only had the whole day to check and visit sites in Aklan before our flight back to Manila.

Our first stop was the Dela Cruz House of Pina. The coincidence that we are visiting a museum that has my same last name, and I was celebrating my birthday during the trip.

It is a beautiful minimalist home that houses the art of pina weaving. We got to meet the fourth-generation weaver from the clan.

pina weaving in aklan
dela cruz pina house in aklan
dela cruz pina house in aklan

We also visited the Ati-Atihan Gallery which is just a walking distance from the Sto Nino Church (another historic site in Aklan).

It features beautiful and colorful Ati-Atihan costumes that showcase the locals’ talent and creativity. Interesting to know their inspiration for each design and costume.

ati-atihan gallery aklan

Thank you, Yel for the photo! This is how I look like when I celebrated my birthday. Haha

ati-atihan gallery and costumes

We then headed to the Backyard Restaurant for lunch with Governor Florencio Miraflores. We feasted on local dishes and desserts.

backyard restaurant aklan
backyard restaurant in aklan

It was so nice of the team to even prepare a cake for me (it was my birthday!). I appreciate everyone’s sweet gesture to celebrate my birthday and make me feel special on that day. I wanted to make the destination the highlight of the trip/day, and it was funny when I told ML not to tell the hosts that it was my birthday. I always celebrate life every day – doing things I love, resting, or exploring when I feel like it; so most often I just treat my birthday like an ordinary day.

traveling on my birthday
traveling on my birthday

But writing it now, I realized that the universe and the forces of the good are conspiring in making things special for my birthday even if I didn’t plan it. Like that one birthday, I was also on a trip to Cebu, and that one birthday when friends planned a surprise birthday party for me. I think the only time we planned a birthday staycation was 3 years ago, and then of course, the #HarryBirthdayRuth party.

traveling on my birthday

I am thankful to be blessed with so many amazing experiences and to have beautiful souls around me. I am also thankful to God for removing people/things/vibes that are no good to me.

(bigla ako nag – speech?) 😂

It is so nice to experience this side of Aklan; a deviation from the usual beautiful sands, sun, and sea that made the province popular.

I flew back to Manila bringing back so many gifts and memories.

traveling on my birthday

I just wanted to say “thank you” to Gov, but Vince told him I wanted a selfie; so na-paselfie na ako. Haha 😂

traveling on my birthday

Thank you everyone! Such a fun and happy bunch! Miss you all!

I hope you enjoyed this travel diary series of Panay Island. The Philippines is truly a beautiful country and I hope you are as excited as I am to see more of our country.

I wanted to buy a special Philippines Pandora Charm to add on my travel charms collection. 🇵🇭

Thank you to Tourism Promotions Board for having me at the #PTIPPanayIsland #HabiHalalHilot trip.

Related Read

24 Hours in Capiz

Postcards from Gigantes Islands

Why I Fell In Love with Iloilo

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